Heart in Hand
I can’t decide if I like the vampires or the werewolves better. Vampires get to live forever, and can make humans do and believe whatever they want them to. They can take an enemy’s head clean off with one swipe. The werewolves live in close community and are always loyal to their brothers. They get to enjoy real food but their bite can end a vampire for good. But, the vampires believe that their superior strength gives them the right to prey on the weak. Plus, the werewolves have to do whatever the Alpha says to do, even if he is a douche bag.
The master vampire Mikael Mikaelson from The Originals likes to say that “The ability to endure pain is the warrior’s true weapon. Master that and nothing holds power over you.” This particular vamp’s definition of being a warrior is to have power and control over others. So, technically, his willingness to endure pain is motivated by a hunger for power. He kept fighting in the face of pain to be able to hurt others. Is it then a worthy goal to have nothing hold power over us? Is it even possible to live in such a way that nothing holds power over us? Is this true freedom or a wish for self-determination in a complex world?
Maybe we are all held in the sway of different types of power at a motivational level. Different warriors fight for different things, so to speak. Aren’t the philosopher’s bid for understanding, or the poet’s hope to open hearts, or the musician’s longing to perform, or the mystic’s hope to experience feeling alive, ways in which power is held inside the hearts of men? And yes, if any of these are true, I do agree that being able to endure pain will be a necessary tool in the face of reality.
Then the warrior must know what it is he is fighting for. What is down there in his heart that powers his motivations? The same could be said for health and wealth, what are they for? What do we value at the core? I would guess finding out the personal answers to these questions is what will bring the individual the ability to experience life at it’s fullest and to learn how to suffer well through the complexities of life.
Life and death are in the hands of the vampires and werewolves, but they are never happy. They kill anyone who gets in their way and then feel alone. Their power over others may bring them momentary satisfaction, but no real joy. Most are immortal as well, so suffer outliving everyone they may have had a loving feeling for. Interestingly, in the stories both species get into situations where they must depend on each other and realize they aren’t much different, and working together for a greater cause is much more satisfying than being on top.
I’m glad I don’t have to answer my original question, I can like them all because they are fictional characters spun off from L.J. Smith’s Vampire Diaries. I do love peeling truth out of a fictional tale, the desire definitely holds power over me and recognizing that has brought me courage and great joy.